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places with history
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Within the confines of the huge Prague Castle complex is an ancient, narrow street with small, colorful houses. Entering Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička) felt like walking into a fairy tale village.
The name of the Lane is derived from goldsmiths who used to live there, as can be seen in the house No. 15. In the 16th century, the name “Goldsmith Lane” has been documented which later changed to the present “Golden Lane”.
The Golden Lane was built when an outer wall to the castle complex was added. The houses were constructed for and occupied by Emperor Rudolph II’s castle guards or marksmen in the 16th century.
We also ventured up the stairs to some of the displays. The upstairs portion was a long walk through exhibits of armors and weapons which connected most of the houses on the street. The most disturbing exhibit was the torture chamber room full of instruments that can make most of us cringe.
A visit to the Golden Lane doesn’t take up much time but definitely worth a stop and a stroll.
Some of the houses have been decorated with furniture,
Visiting Golden Lane Basics and Tips
- Entry to Golden Lane isn’t free. Tickets to street can be purchased separately just for the street or combined with the Prague Castle complex ticket. We had the combination self-guided visitor ticket for the castle which was a better deal.
- Tickets: 250czk ($13 USD) for a short visit ticket or 350czk ($18.70 USD) for a long visit ticket and can be purchased at the ticket center across from St. Vitus Cathedral. Family admission tickets are also available.
- Golden Lane is located in the northeast corner of the the Prague Castle complex. Walk along the side of the church and monastery of St. George with the red facade to reach it. There were some signs pointing towards the street.
- Take your time walking around the lane and looking at the room displays closely. The shops are also wonderful for browsing. You’ll never know what interesting things you’ll find.
Location: The Old Burgrave of Prague Castle, Jiřská 6
Getting there: by Metro A station Malostranská, Tram 22 – stop Pražský hrad
Open: daily, Apr.–Oct. 9–18, Nov.–Mar. 9–16 closed 24/12
Admission: 50 CZK (or can be part of your castle ticket Prague Castle Short Tour – 250 CZK), admission free with Prague Card
Opening hours (free entrance):
April – Octoberdaily5:00 – 24:00
Prague is known as the Golden City and always seemed so photogenic and felt like it belonged in fairy tale books. We really enjoyed the few days we spent here over Christmas break. Its architecture, cobble-stoned streets, friendly locals, history and the colourful city has made it one of our favourite European cities. We found Prague to be family-friendly.
Here area handful of free things to do in Prague with kids.
Dětský Island (Children’s Island)
The island’s current name originates from the beginning of the 1960’s, when a children’s playground was built here.
This playground has something for everyone! It caters for toddlers, pre-school kids or schoolchildren. It is located on the island and thus offers some gorgeous views of the city. Children will enjoy watching boats pass through the canal. Mushroom shower is one of the most popular attractions of the park, especially in summer. The playground also includes swings, slides, sandpits, spring riders, a little house, a water fountain, a climbing frame etc.
The northern part of the island features a synthetic turf for various ball games, a tennis court, a petaque and skateboard area. The playground also offers toilet facilities.
Old Town Square and Astronomical Clock
Prague’s Old Town Square is very picturesque with many historic buildings and full of activity. Restaurants, food stalls, churches, and a variety of shops surround the square with many alleyways begging to be discovered.
The Astronomical Clock of Prague rings on the hour, every hour. The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still operating
Walk around the Castle Complex
This vast castle complex dominates the city skyline and where many tourists head to so expect a lot of crowds. But, it’s well worth a visit. While it’s not free to enter the museums, Golden Lane or most of St. Vitus Cathedral, it is still free to walk around, enjoy and explore the castle grounds and admire the striking architecture.
It’s free to enter St. Vitus Cathedral but you are restricted to the front portion area. Visitors must pay to further explore the church.
Cross the Charles Bridge
One of Europe’s most famous and oldest bridge is also a must-see attraction in Prague. Walk the bridge during the day and at night.
30 sandstone statues line the bridge and many of them are fantastic works of art and a lesson in religious history. Grab a guide to the statues and play scavenger hunt with the kids here.
For a small fee of less than a euro or dollar, the two tower bridges are open for climbing for scenic views of the castle and the Old Town area.
Tour the Jewish Quarter.
The Jewish Quarter has: six synagogues, including Maisel Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue and the Old-New Synagogue; the Jewish Ceremonial Hall; and the Old Jewish Cemetery, the most remarkable of its kind in Europe.
You can’t actual enter the monuments without a tour guide or tickets but you are welcome to explore the Jewish Quarter and all the architecture it has to offer.
Visit the John Lennon Wall
The Lennon Wall, or John Lennon Wall, started off as just any old wall, but since the 1980s it has become a tribute to the famous band member. After Lennon’s murder in 1980, his image was painted on this wall opposite the French Embassy along with song lyrics and political graffiti. Despite numerous coats of whitewash from the secret police in the early years, along with the property owners in recent years, the graffiti was always reposted and they have bowed down to the posting of it in recent years.
Sightsee the local Architecture
Prague is home to some wonderful and inspiring architecture all across the city from many different eras. If you want to see some Romanesque architecture check out St George’s Basilica in Prague Castle, for Baroque visit St. Nicholas’ Church in the Old Town Square, Gothic can be seen at the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn and the Old Town Hall, both in the Old Town Square, and for Art Nouveau just look around the city at the many buildings with distinctive features such as faces and flowers in buildings’ facades.
Parks and Gardens
We were quite surprised to see many green spaces scattered throughout the city of spires. There are about 200 parks in Prague and some that have been here for centuries. Urban parks were popular places for families to have picnics, play and sunbathe especially during the summer weekends when we were there.
In the Old Town Square, one of the most dominating features is the stunning Church of Our Lady Before Tyn. This Gothic-style church is instantly recognizable with its two spires; however, you will find a Baroque style largely dominating the interior. Also, rumour has it that this church was the inspiration behind Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Take a free walking tour
Prague is a great place for a walking tour with its many romantic and winding streets along with stunning architecture. You’ll find a free walking tour running twice a day in the city with a starting point in the Old Town Square in front of the Tourism Office at 10.45am and 2 pm. This 3-hour tour covers all of the popular sites along with some lesser known areas, all accompanied with inside knowledge. While the tours are free, the guides make their money from tips only so try to contribute a few Koruna.
- Czech Museum of Music – Free every first Thursday of the month from 2-6 PM. It houses a collection of 700,000 items and exhibits on music’s history.
- Prague National Gallery – Free every first Wednesday of the month from 3-8 PM. With over 400,000 art objects, this is the country’s largest art institution.
- Lobkowicz Palace– Free entry on every first Wednesday of the month from 4-6 PM.
- National Technical Museum – Free entry on every first Friday of the month.
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